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The Ritual of Embalming Papyrus
The Ritual of Embalming Papyrus or Papyrus of the Embalming Ritual is one of only two extant papyri which detail anything at all about the practices of mummification used within the burial practices of Ancient Egyptian culture.
One version of the papyri is contained within the Egyptian museum Cairo (Pap. Boulaq No.3) and the other is within the Louvre (No. 5158).
The papyri within Cairo was located and discovered during the year 1857, within a tomb in Thebes. The papyri represents the last ten pages of a work of which all other pages are lost, of these, eight were in a good condition.
The Louvre papyri shows the same information as is held on the last two pages of the Cairo.
The papyri probably dates to the 1st century A.D., and contain specifically information on eleven acts of anointing of the body, the wrapping and placing of internal organs, which had been treated, inside Canopic jars, and the act of performing the bandaging of the embalmed corpse to create a mummy.
Persons necessarily present and participating within a performance of the ritual were a master of secrets or stolist (both refer to the same person), a lector, and a divine chancellor or seal-bearer (hetemu-netjer). Of the persons present, the individual who was the hery-sheshta fulfilled the most important and superior position, the hetemu-netjer was next in importance, then the wetiu, who were to wrap the embalmed corpse in material.
The text proceeds in the direction of the embalming the head, toward the feet.
The head was to be wrapped firstly in linen, of this first linen, the embalmer was to obtain the linen from Sais, with a second layer added afterwards.